Thursday, March 29, 2018

Lamb of the Goddess

Her face is as round as a peasant loaf. Her smile lights up the room. Her simple garments are the color of flax or of wheat. She is fair and she is vast, built on a scale larger than humans. I know her as Mother and she receives me into her arms as a mother reaches for a child.
    She tells me she will give me strength for the work I have undertaken. I must open my mouth to receive.
    I don't hesitate. I would trust her with my life.
    She produces something very small and white and fluffy. It fits inside the palm of her hand. I am amazed to see it is a lamb. Are they ever this small? She holds the lamb against my face. I smell milk and the fresh goodness of the wool, which is wonderfully soft against my skin.
    She parts the wool and holds the lamb to my mouth.
    Eat, she tells me.
    The meat is sweet. It tastes more like fruit than flesh. I bite deep and the blood pours down my throat. There is no disgust. The blood tastes like wine. I continue to eat until all that is left is a tuft of white wool.

    Now you are ready, she tells me.

I leave the scene and open the eyes of the body I left sleeping on my bed. How do I feel? I feel blessed, and grateful, and amazed.
   It occurs to me that my dream of being offered the blood and flesh of a lamb comes at the time of Passover, when Jews celebrate the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. In the Bible story, the God of Moses sent plagues against Egypt to compel Pharaoh to let his people go. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a sacrificed spring lamb; seeing the blood of the lamb, the disease-bearing spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-born in Jewish homes.
   This is also Easter Week and a Christian name for Jesus is Lamb of God. In the Book of John, when John the Baptist sees Jesus, he says, "Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." (John 1.29) I remember chanting in an Anglican communion, eons ago,

Agnus dei
qui tollis peccata mundi
miserere nobis

I rose from my dream on Maundy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper. Have I just experienced an Easter dream? In my dream, it is the Goddess - for surely this is She - not the God, who is at the center of things. This might make the dream all the more timely in Easter Week, since Bede told us that the word Easter is the name of a goddess, the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre. (Jacob Grimm, in German Mythology, turned her name into Ostara.) The original meaning of Eostre, some scholars say, is "Dawn". She is also called Daughter of Heaven. She is associated with fertility and abundance; hence all those Easter eggs and bunnies. The newborn lamb she fed me might fit right in.
    Dreams set research assignments, and I'll happily accept the need to dig further in these waving fields of mythic connections.
    For now, I am happy and grateful to accept the gift of the Goddess, and with it the strength for new creative work.

Top: William-Adolphe Bouguereau, "L'agneau nouveau nĂ©" (1873) 
Below: RM journal sketch 4/13/17


Unknown said...

Wonderful dream!

Sandy Miranda Robinett said...

This is so luminous. What a blessing. She is the Golden Dawn.

nina said...

Rubens has an enchanting painting sometimes entitled Christ and John the Baptist as Children and Two Angels. The little lamb is also there and it reminds me a bit of your beautiful dream. Actually, the lamb seems to be the only creature in the picture to be fully aware what is going to happen. It is like saying: I am prepared to give my life.
Thank you very much for sharing.

Carol Davis, OP said...

Beautiful gift, the Lamb, innocent, life-giving, generous. A gift of love. Sometimes at communion in the Catholic Church we pray that we become what we receive. (the statement comes originally from St. Augustine.) If this were my dream, I think about receiving this divine gift that has meaning throughout so much sacred, living story from One who I would "trust with my life". If it were my dream I would receive it as sustenance and invitation, trusting that the unfolding will bear fruit.

marrob said...

Yes, this is truly a wondrous dream and gift.

As a Christian commemorating the death and resurrection, I find inspiration in the
universal symbols of partaking and renewal, especially in the feminine aspect which
is too often marginalised. Good to know the origin of the word 'Easter' too.

Thank you for passing on the time of research, writing and trusting the value
of your experiences...beyond the superficial cracks!

And on- going blessings of renewal on your undertakings which SHE promised.